European Honors Program
Castelvecchio, Italy 2019

European Honors Program

Founded in 1960, RISD's European Honors Program (EHP) is a unique art and design pre-graduation residency-style program that welcomes a select group of students from all RISD departments at RISD’s site in Rome.

EHP's robust, self-directed multidisciplinary studio environment is designed to feed independent, experimental studio projects. In the Studio Elective and Concentration courses you’ll make choices about the media, topics and trajectories of inquiry you explore, while benefiting from RISD’s signature rigor and academic guidance provided by your Chief Critic.
The EHP studio experience is complemented by a liberal arts curriculum focused on Art History and Italian language and culture. The semester includes an unparalleled series of short-term field trips, including a week-long travel tour throughout Italy, as well as workshops and group critiques from visiting artists and designers—all integral pieces of the RISD in Rome experience. The EHP curriculum offers an opportunity to inhabit the life of an artist working independently in Rome, with RISD's support and resources.
The maximum enrollment per semester is 22 students and selection is competitive. Over 1200 EHP alumni now live and work around the world and many directly reference their time at EHP as extremely important to their development as makers.
Apply the semester before you plan to attend. The Fall 2020 European Honors Program application is now open! The deadline to apply is Sunday, April 12. This EHP deadline is under review and an extended deadline will be announced shortly.
Prior to applying, we recommend that you attend an information session held on campus before completing and submitting your application.


Fall/Spring, 1 semester

Fall: September–December (16 weeks)
Spring: January–May (20 weeks)

Open to RISD students, Brown University students

Juniors + Seniors. Minimum 3.0+ GPA required.

Application Deadline
April 12 / October 25

Fall semester 2020: April 12, 2020
Spring semester 2021: October 25, 2020

Academic Credits
15 / 18

Fall semester: 15 RISD credits
Spring semester: 18 RISD credits

Instruction Language
  • English
European Honors Program
Rome, Italy 2018
European Honors Program
Rome, Italy 2018

About EHP


RISD's European Honors Program (EHP) was founded in 1960 by faculty members Gilbert Franklin, Dr. Frank Deigman (Dean of Students) and Samuel F. Hershey (Chairman of the Division of Freshman Foundation), and under the direction of the School's President John R. Frazier. At the time, EHP was the first program of its kind hosted by a US art and design institution in Italy.

The founders pursued the program after completing fellowships at the American Academy in Rome, an arts research institution that supports innovative artists, writers, and scholars living and working together in a dynamic international community. They aimed to create a residency-like environment for RISD students to learn and practice in the unique cultural and creative environment of Rome, as they had done at the Academy. RISD’s EHP is now entering its 6th decade!

Location + Accomodation

In EHP, students live and work in the 16th century Palazzetto Cenci within walking distance of the Vatican, the Pantheon, the Colloseum and the Roman Forum. RISD requires all EHP participants to live on campus within the Palazzetto Cenci. The shared living arrangements of the European Honors Program promotes a unique living-learning community that complements the academic experience.

Apply to EHP

Applications for Fall 2020 European Honors Program are now open! The deadline to apply is Sunday, April 12. Apply the semester before you plan to attend.

View details

Program Details

View EHP Advising Booklet

A minimum 3.0 GPA is required. Students enrolled in Brown University’s Visual Art + Architecture concentrations are also welcome to apply.

You must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to be eligible to apply and you must remain in good standing at RISD in terms of finances and conduct up until, and throughout, your time on the program. To apply, you must demonstrate general qualifications of maturity, motivation, and emotional stability. You must also demonstrate a strong commitment to and interest in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches, the ability to work on self-directed studio projects, and a flexible approach towards studio practice, based on a cross-disciplinary, group-based, and equipment-low environment.

Each session begins with a structured 12-week block during which you will complete 3 courses and receives 12 credits:

  • EHP-9500: EHP Studio Elective (6 credits)
  • THAD-9200: Layers of Rome: From Antiquity to Post-WWII Italy (3 credits)
  • LAEL-9200: EHP Italian Language and Culture (3 credits)

During the remaining weeks, you will focus on your Independent Study:

  • EHP-9600: EHP Studio Concentration (3 credits, Fall / 6 credits, Spring)

Learn more about EHP Academics.

The Fall semester program is composed of 16 weeks, starting the first week of September, concluding the third week of December.

The Spring semester program is composed of 20 weeks, starting the first week of January, concluding the final week of May.

Week 1: Arrival and Orientation at the Palazzetto Cenci

Week 2: Studio Elective, Art History, and Italian Language and Culture classes begin

Travel Tour: This week-long field trip, included in your course tuition, moves beyond Rome to explore contemporary Italian art and culture in northern or southern Italy

Week 8: Midterm review

Week 11: Final exams for Liberal Arts courses and mid-crit for Studio

Independent Travel Week: In this week break from courses following exams students are encouraged to explore other cities in Italy and Europe, to gain inspiration for their studio concentration period

Week 13: Studio Concentration begins

Week 16 (Fall) / Week 20 (Spring): Final studio review, exhibition, and opening at the Palazzetto Cenci

Link to EHP Calendar: Spring 2020

Link to EHP Calendar: Fall 2020

Link to EHP Calendar: Spring 2021

In addition to tuition and fees, the following EHP costs will be billed to your student account:

  • Housing at the Cenci* + Excursions and Week-long Travel Tour**: $6,860
  • Mandatory International Travel Medical Insurance: $310
    (on-campus medical insurance may be waived)

In addition, you will be responsible for the following out-of-pocket expenses (all costs are estimates, to assist you in budgeting for your time in Rome):

  • Airfare to and from Rome: Approx. $600 — $1200
  • Student Visa + Resident Permit: Approx. $75 (some nationalities are exempt)
  • Local transportation (bus/subway): One-way Ticket: 1.50€ / Monthly Pass: 35.00€
  • Meals: self-catering, no meal plan available — suggested amount: $75 - $110 per week for groceries and dining out
  • Supplies/Materials: you may choose to bring your art supplies and materials with your or to purchase them once in Rome. You will find that some materials will be cheaper, and others will be more expensive once in Italy. To get an idea of general expenses for different art/design supplies and materials visit the Poggi Art Store website (Italian). All prices listed are in Euros. For packing guidelines on art supplies, visit the Transportation Security Authority (TSA).

* Meal plans are not available at the Palazzetto Cenci and are not included in the price of housing. The Cenci is equipped with 3 modern kitchens, in which you can prepare your own meals. Many affordable, fresh grocery options are available in the surrounding neighborhood.

** All travel/accommodation costs for class field trips, excursions, and the week-long guided tour of Italian cities are included.

Work Study
Multiple work study opportunities exist at the Palazzetto Cenci for RISD students. To be eligible for EHP Work Study you must complete mandatory paperwork with Student Employment Office prior to leaving Providence. Brown University students are not eligible to receive work study funding through RISD.

SFS Balance Payment Policy
Per Student Financial Services policy, RISD students who plan to travel on school-sponsored trips must first pay their student account in full. If your account has an outstanding balance you are ineligible for travel until full payment has been made and you may forfeit any funds already used to book travel arrangements.

Studio Credits
9 Major Studio in Fall / 12 Major Studio in Spring

Studio credits replace your on-campus major requirements for the semester. Distribution to non-major requirements can occur when major credits are no longer needed and the Degree Requirement Substitution form is signed and filed with the RISD Registrar’s Office. Once accepted to EHP, meet with your Department Head and Academic Advisor to make arrangements for how studio credits will fulfill your degree requirements.

Liberal Art Credits

3 THAD (Art History) + 3 LAEL (Italian Language + Culture)

Additional credits may be earned, upon approval, if you wish to engage in additional coursework in the form of an approved independent study or internship. History, Philosophy, and the Social Sciences (HPSS) and English courses are not offered, so plan accordingly.

Learn more about EHP Academics.

Learn more about scholarship opportunities below. Brown University students are not eligible to receive scholarship funding through RISD.

The EHP semester program’s costs include:

  • Standard RISD tuition: regular RISD tuition + student activity fee (regular financial aid package applies)
  • Mandatory International Travel Medical Insurance: $310
    (on-campus medical insurance may be waived)
  • Housing at the Cenci + Week-long Travel Tour: $6,860
  • Activity Fee: $130
  • Academic and Technology Fee: $400

All travel/accommodation costs for the week-long guided tour of Italian cities are included. Meals, airfare to and from Rome, Student Visa (approximately $60), local transportation, and art materials are all additional out of pocket expenses.

Need-based scholarship funds are awarded to selected students who complete an additional application. There are also many types of work study opportunities at the Cenci available for EHP students.

EHP Academics

EHP’s transformative interdisciplinary nature is encoded into the fabric of the studio culture in Rome — it arises organically as you absorb, collaborate with, and are inspired by your peers, critics, and Rome itself.

View details

RISD in Rome

Since 1960, RISD has maintained its site in Rome as a space for interdisciplinary exchange and immersive learning.

View details

EHP Planner

Apply for EHP the semester before you plan to attend. Eligible semesters: Junior Fall, Junior Spring, Senior+ Fall, Senior+ Spring, Grad Year 1, Grad Year 2+

Fall 2020
Spring 2021

Spring Semester 2020

Attend an information session
Set up a 1:1 advising appointment
April 12
Deadline for Fall Semester EHP application
Receive acceptance decision
Attend pre-departure meeting
Apply for travel visa

Fall Semester 2020

Arrive in Rome
Attend EHP orientation
See EHP semester calendar
Final reviews & exhibition
Depart Rome

Fall Semester 2020

Attend an information session
Set up a 1:1 advising appointment
October 25
Deadline for Spring Semester EHP application
Receive acceptance decision
Attend pre-departure meeting
Apply for travel visa

Spring Semester 2021

Arrive in Rome
Attend EHP orientation
See EHP semester calendar
Final reviews & exhibition
Depart Rome

European Honors Program
Rome, Italy 2018
European Honors Program
Rome, Italy 2016